Mayor, councillors respond to questions on future of Laval’s golf courses

Le Cardinal in Sainte-Dorothée is set to be redeveloped in phases

Although the City of Laval could eventually be holding referendums to decide the type of development taking place on old golf courses, only residents living in “contiguous” neighborhoods would be allowed to vote, a member of the city’s executive-committee said during the Jan. 11 meeting of city council.

Green space conservation activists in Laval are concerned about the extent of residential development slated to be taking place at the Le Cardinal golf course in Sainte-Dorothée. The City of Laval has already approved the extension of Arthur-Sauvé Blvd. southward into the golf course site to accommodate the redevelopment.

Golf course redevelopment

There are plans by Groupe Quorum, which purchased some of the land in 2017, to build more than 270 single-family homes and townhouses, with further plans to build up to 700 houses eventually. 

The developer has an option to purchase additional land on the golf course, although its future use would be subject to a zoning change and a referendum. This will not be the case with the opening phase of the development. 

Mayor Stéphane Boyer answers questions during the Jan. 11 city council meeting.

“The overall vision isn’t yet established,” Laval-Les Îles councillor Nicholas Borne told Laval resident Jonathan Tremblay, who raised the issue during question period. Borne said the city is about to introduce a completely re-written urban planning code which should be able to deal more effectively with the issue.  

“So, of course, the citizens are going to be consulted. But as regards referendums, if we have to go into a referendum vote, of course it will be with people who are contiguous to these various parklands. 

Who gets to vote? 

“So, if for example your neighbor were asking for a change of zoning, I would feel hard up to say that someone from a different neighborhood could vote in favor or against that type of zoning change,” Borne said. “So, the same goes for our various golf courses: if there is a zoning change at a golf course, it will be the citizens who live around the golf course who will have the right to vote.” 

If there is a zoning change at a golf course, it will be the citizens who live around the golf course who will have the right to vote

Official opposition councillor Claude Larochelle (Fabreville) assured Tremblay that “if the new urban planning code were to open the door wide to developers to do what they wish and as they wish, as we have unfortunately seen too often in the past in Laval, I would be the first to oppose it. 

“You can be certain that I will be there with my [city council] colleague Louise [Lortie] and that the councillors will be making sure that everything which happens in terms of development will be done with respect for our rights and our urban plan.” 

Opposition councillor’s view 

Action Laval opposition city councillor for Saint-Bruno David De Cotis noted that in July 2018, Action Laval councillors voted along with the Parti Laval’s Claude Larochelle to express their opposition to the sale of the golf course land for development. 

Mayor Stéphane Boyer said the city has certain “limited” powers of expropriation, as well as broader powers to purchase outright old golf courses should it wish to protect them from redevelopment and conserve them as green spaces. 

He said the city would be leaving itself open to being sued by a developer if it were to take action to prevent development on land that already is zoned for development. “We would be taking away the right of the owner to use his land as he sees fit, which is a principle written into laws for private ownership in all western countries. There are some things we can do, others we cannot.” 

First Responders coming 

Also, during the Jan. 11 council meeting, the councillors voted on motions to purchase equipment and to formally create the city’s first First Responder teams, which will be mandated to provide emergency interventions to persons undergoing medical emergencies. 

The entrance to the Le Cardinal golf course near Sainte-Dorothée, part of which is slated to be redeveloped into more than 270 new housing units.

As well, the councillors approved the appointment of independent members to the city’s new Consultative Committee on Senior Citizens. 

The new members are: Evelyne Garceau, Monique Hétu, Valiola Jeune-Monfiston, Kevin McLeod, Bernard Millette, Michel Pigeon and Danae Savides. As well, Mauricette Guilhermond was appointed as an alternate member should any other member not be able to serve over the next two years.